Hurricane Ida brought gasoline refining and oil production to a halt along much of the Gulf Coast in a development that will likely cause the national price of gasoline to jump in the coming days, USA Today reports.
ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge chemical plant and refinery, which employ hundreds of workers in the region, did not sustain any damage during the storm, says spokesperson Stephanie Cargile via email. The refinery is shutting down units to stabilize operations, Cargile says. Once the company confirms it has access to needed feedstocks and third party utilities it will begin the process of returning to normal operations.
For today, the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery will experience flaring after shutting down units to stabilize operations during Hurricane Ida. Cargile says the company’s main focus is the safety of its employees and contractors. The ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Fuels Terminal reopened operations today, after closing yesterday afternoon for personnel safety during the storm
While experts don’t expect the hurricane to have devastating effects on the availability or price of fuel, they say motorists and businesses should still brace for increased gasoline prices.
Think somewhere in the range of 5 to 15 cents per gallon more than what you’re currently paying, said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, a fuel-savings app. Read the USA Today story about gas prices.